Fun with the Lab School Teachers at UVA

Lab School Session at University of VirginiaLighted Cat Pop-Up Card

I just spent two days working with the Lab School teachers at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Lab School is an innovative new middle school program which incorporates lessons in science, technology, engineering and math concepts within hands-on projects. On Monday, all the teachers tried their hand at building an in-line motor with two handmade solenoids hooked up to a small 6-volt battery. On Tuesday I taught basic pop-up construction techniques, and we added electrical circuits and LED lights to the artwork. The most exciting event was when one of the teachers, Robert Munsey, completed a working 3-D printed rotary motor. To see a short video of the completed motor, click here. Also, a student project with Robbie’s motor lifting a washer.

3-D printed motor by Robert Munsey

 

 

 

 

Summer Institute, National Museum of Women in the Arts

Summer Institute, National Museum of Women in the ArtsOne of my favorite teaching sessions every year is the Summer Institute for teachers held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The week-long session for elementary and secondary school teachers introduces them to the VTS (Visual Thinking Strategies) technique of art study and encourages participating educators to incorporate creative projects into their standard school curriculum. I spent Wednesday morning covering pop-up and landscape book construction. Every teacher ended up with a pile of pop-up models. Several of the teachers are shown here with their landscape books. Next year, in addition to the basic Summer Institute, an advanced session will be offered to those who have completed the first session.Teacher 1, Summer Institute 2014 Teacher 2, Summer Institute 2014 Teacher participant, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Summer Institute  Teacher participant, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Summer Institute Teacher 7, Summer Institute 2014 Teacher participant, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Summer InstituteTeacher 6, Summer Institute 2014 Teacher participant, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Summer Institute

Studio at Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA

Studio at Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA

Four full days of classes at Pittsburgh’s Studio at Contemporary Craft yielded lots of creative projects, from architectural pop-ups and spirals to carousel and tunnel books. Two days were devoted exclusively to pop-up constructions, and eight students worked their way through numerous structures, from simple cut-and-fold pop-ups to non-adhesive props and V-folds. The next class was a two-day workshop, one day devoted to carousel books and one to tunnel books. Everyone left with finished models of both structures. Aside from that, I had fun exploring Pittsburgh’s downtown strip full of ethnic food markets and specialty boutiques. Thanks to Leslie Wright for being such an enthusiastic and wonderful host!

Student in Carol Barton's pop-up classPop-up student, SCC, Pittsburgh

End of Semester at the Corcoran

Corcoran graduate Paper Engineering Class pop-up photo, instructor Carol Barton
The spring semester ended with a popped-up class portrait in my paper engineering course at the Corcoran College of Art + Design  in Washington, D.C.  Students have completed their travel pop-up assignment and are off for the summer, some graduating, some with jobs and other projects in the works. Here are photos of  their paper-engineered travel scenes, with dreams of traveling the world.
Angkor Wat  by Jihae KwonTaipei by Julie Shea
Venice by Magdalena CorderoHawaii by Krista Sharp copy
Florence by Susanne AllenIceland by Julie Garcia copy

Columbo by Fatima Elgarch

A Busy Weekend in Maryland

Olivia making pop-up cardMeg making pop-up cardPaula making pop-up card

My weekend started with a jaunty private workshop at Olivia’s beautifully-appointed apartment and studio in Pikesville, Maryland. Olivia, Meg, and Paula, all artists in their own right, spent the day with me honing their paper engineering skills and creating a pile of pop-up models. Olivia provided us with a wonderful lunch, and we ended the session with a “class” portrait of their completed works.

Pikesville, MD, class portrait

On the agenda for the next day was the Hagerstown, Maryland, Literacy Festival where I was one of some 15 authors signing books in the public library. A group of four teens was a highlight, wearing their favorite works of fiction, singing “These Books are Made for Walking.”

Book kids, Hagerstown Literacy Festival 

Immediately after Hagerstown, I drove to the Howard County Fairgrounds where the Sheep and Wool Festival was in full swing. I managed to get there in time for the border collie sheep herding event, and my husband Henry joined me for a walk through the pens to see the sheep, buy a broom for our farmhouse porch, and purchase seeds for the garden.

Sheep herding, Howard County Sheep and Wool FestivalSheep, Howard County Sheep and Wool Festival

This unusual combination of events made for an exciting weekend, ending with the planting of kale and beets at the farm.

Maryland farm iwith rainbow

 

More Electrifying Paper Engineering, National Museum of Women in the Arts

Meeting with the National Museum of Women in the Arts Education Department

In a meeting last week with the education staff at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Deborah Gaston, Addie, Ashley and Lucinda Presley) we discussed how to incorporate lights into pop-up cards as part of the museum’s ongoing programs combining art and science. I reviewed my experience with public school teachers in Charlottesville, Virginia, and we outlined the steps in a possible lesson plan. Plus, we tried some hands-on circuitry ourselves. After that, a trip to my favorite nearby eatery, Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken for their famous Creme Brulee doughnuts.

Brass screws used as electrical connectorsMultiple LED circuitAstro Doughnuts Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken

Electric Pop-Ups, Charlottesville, Virginia

 

Glen Bull and Carol Barton at Charlottesville High School, VACarol Barton showing circuit for pop-up card

Jie Qi's circuit sticker prototypes
It was a teacher workshop session filled with surprises, including trips to the darkness of the women’s (rebranded unisex) bathroom to see our lighted projects working. The workshop I gave last Friday for teachers in the Charlotteville, Virginia, city school system was a successful attempt to combine a basic electric light circuit with a pop-up card. We began working through a series of pop-up structures, then built a circuit made of a lithium battery, copper tape, an LED sticker light, and a sliding paper switch to turn the light on and off as the card opened and closed. With the addition of a pop-up, we achieved lighted campfires, buildings, and creatures. The challenge for the teachers now is to work this into a lesson on paper engineering and electronics for their summer school students. Thanks to the Noyce Foundation for funding this project and to all who participated!

Lighted pop-up by Cam Ellis, Virginia Monroe and Desmond Cormier

Lighted pop-up by Cam Ellis, Virginia Monroe and Desmond Cormier